God’s Own Chisel

Pillars of Nagpur

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How many of us have it in us to quit a secured source and follow our passion for the rest of our lives? Shantaram Parate did. Even at 23, along with working as a serviceman, he dared to follow his passion for carving masterpieces through his art of sculpting. Everybody around us is an artist. But how many dare to keep the artist within alive? It takes more than what you think. What endures? Everything we are passionate about and have conviction for. Such is the ideology with which sculptor Shantaram resides in his world of hairsplitting art. Shantaram continued his service until the day his children urged him to pursue this acquired art as a full time profession. He was willing to take the risk of letting go a steady income for the sake of his passion, future of which was based on a shaky ground. But what he created with his hands had a language of its own. The quantity of the sculptures he made never mattered to him but quality.

He strives to create magic with his skillful hands and succeeds every time. Shantaram has now trained his other family members too in this skill. The family of 6 people work with a common purpose of delivering quality sculptures to their clients. Firmly believing in the concept of creating something eco friendly, Shantaram uses only soil to carve his sculptures.

The period from July to September, he dedicates sculpting idols for various festivals including idols of Lord Ganesha, Goddess Durga and Laxmi, Lord Krishna namely and a lot more. Shantaram along with his team manages to carve around 400 sculptures in a year. The finesse with which Shantaram carves his handwork is a treat to look at. A unique quality which all his sculptures possess uniformly is that the eyes of all Ganesha idols are strikingly same. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that he breathes life into his sculptures. The skill he acquired and mastered in the last 40 years, a 63 years old Shantaram educated his children so that they can carry forward the skill and legacy of their father with equal finesse. Even at this age, Shantaram holds his ground of delivering quality work. He has kept the passion for his art ignited in his heart and encourages everyone to do the same. What made him stand out? His burning desire to chase his passion and the fact that,

“He is an Artist Not a Labourer.”.

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